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Subject: Outnumbered, but not Outgunned A Much More Detailed Account of the Shootout
SCCOMarine    12/23/2008 2:19:49 PM
Its a much more in-depth article out of the Military Times on the Shootout in the village of Shewan in the Farah Province when 30 members of Task Force 2-7 were ambushed by over 250 Taliban Insurgents. Using Aggressive Actions they Seized the Initiative from the enemy and drove them out of their own village. It reminds me of what my first Platoon Sgt. used to always stress to us. It was something his Plt Sgt & SqLdrs Stressed to him, which was taught to them. Something that he said was taking out of the Official Mission Statement of the Marine Rifle Squad b/c of Political Correctness, which states: The mission of the Rifle Squad is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by Fire and Maneuver, or repel the enemy’s assault by Fire and Close Combat. He said that it used to end in "or Repel the Enemy's Assault by Fire, Close Combat & Violence of Action". And that was the Point that he stressed, which he said was the KEY to Marine Corps Tactical Superiority in every battle we ever fought in-- Controlled Violence of Action. He made it clear in every rehearsed Raid, every practiced Ambush, & every Immediate Action Drill. That that alone--Violence of Action, Controlled Violence of Action-- alone could Crush the Enemies Will to Fight no matter what the Odds.
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SCCOMarine       12/23/2008 2:20:35 PM

Outnumbered, but not Outgunned

Marines overcome 8-to-1 odds during an 8-hour battle
By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 22, 2008 13:48:49 EST

The platoon was in a remote area of southwestern Afghanistan when it happened — the kind of massive ambush and firefight that is the stuff of Marine legend.

Patrolling the town of Shewan in Farah province, the troops from 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, were attacked by a small group of insurgents that eventually swelled to more than 250 fighters. They had enough rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun ammunition to wage an eight-hour battle against a well-trained, well-equipped Marine force.

And in the end, the results were devastating — for the insurgents.

More than 50 enemy fighters were killed in the battle, and several more wounded, Marine officials said. A single Marine corporal, serving as the unit's designated marksman, killed 20 insurgents by himself, using only 20 shots to do it.

The estimated 30 Marines involved, on the other hand, rolled away relatively unscathed. No Marines were killed and only one was wounded in the battle, the platoon commander said.

"We didn't win the fight because of our superior firepower," he said, speaking through e-mail on condition of anonymity. "We were severely outnumbered and outgunned. From [the] first counter-ambush assault, we gained the momentum and maintained it until the enemy finally fled from the battlefield eight hours later."

As 2/7's deployment comes to an end in December, many details about the Aug. 8 battle at Shewan and the heroism displayed there remain shrouded in secrecy.

The Marines involved in the battle have asked for privacy and the Corps has agreed. Several have been nominated for combat awards, but Marine officials will not disclose who those Marines are, which platoon or company they were with, or what awards they might receive.

For now, they are simply an unidentified band of brothers. And while it's clear they were out manned, whether they were outgunned is a matter open for debate.

'Trapped in the kill zone'

Shewan is a village that sits in Farah province along Highway 517, south of the center of Bala Buluk, home to more than 100,000 Afghans. Like many locations in southwestern Afghanistan, it was an insurgent stronghold when 2/7 arrived in the spring, and the site of several battles that lasted anywhere from three to 36 hours, the platoon commander said.

The Marines targeted Shewan for patrols because it was a known home to insurgents and near a supply route through Bala Buluk that needed to be secured, Marine officials said. Opening the route would make life easier in Farah for the Marines who were there.

What the Marines did not realize on Aug. 8 was that insurgent leaders were holding a meeting in a Shewan compound. By patrolling the area, the platoon was interrupting and trapping the insurgents inside, Marine officials said.

The platoon patrolled Shewan, in vehicles and on foot, for about 90 minutes before it was attacked, the platoon commander said. The ambush began with a rocket-propelled grenade streaking over the top of a Humvee outside the town's center, drawing attention to a three-man team of insurgents about 150 meters away.

"My platoon sergeant killed the RPG gunner and another one of my Marines killed the second RPG gunner before he could fire his weapon," the platoon commander said. "We start[ed] taking fire from various compounds, but we kept pushing into the village."

About an hour later, the Marines were ambushed again, this time by five to 10 insurgents hiding in a shallow irrigation ditch, the platoon commander said. The Marines fired back, but began taking heavy fire from a trench line to the north.

"Two of my trucks were ambushed from another position ... with heavy machine gun and RPG fire," the platoon commander said. "On

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